Ever since I was 13 years old, I’ve been going to the “Sneekweek.” Sneek is a little city in the north of The Netherlands where once a year the biggest sailing event of the European inland waterways is held. However, to most teenagers and young-adults it is known as one week of non-stop partying.
This last description applies to my experience of the Sneekweek. My entire teenage years I’ve camped with a friend on, first a family camp ground, and later on the special “youth camp ground.” You abide by the typical festival way of life: partying all-night, sleeping all-day. Eat and shower somewhere in between, if you can.
My father’s and brother’s experience is slightly different from mine, for the fact that they actually do sail. My father and a friend compete in an Efsix, and my brother and a friend in a Sailhorse. Over the years they have become quite good and my dad even finished in second place this year (day prize, not overall score though)!
Every Sneekweek begins with a special opening parade through the canals. Two or three boats of every class sail through city center, along with orchestra boats to enhance the festive atmosphere. Recently, flyboarding has become a thing and they’re also represented in the show. It is really fun to watch and becomes a bit enchanting when the fireworks go off at the end.